UK Accelerates Winter Top-Up Vaccines Amid Growing Concerns Over New Covid Variant

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UK Health Authorities Launch Winter Vaccine Schedule Amid Concerns over New COVID Variant


London, September 11

The UK health authorities began rolling out their winter vaccine schedule for the most medically vulnerable on Monday, brought forward from a planned early October rollout amid concerns around the new COVID variant BA.2.86.

Rollout Details

  • Residents of older adult care homes and housebound individuals to receive COVID and flu vaccinations from this week.
  • High-risk groups will begin to be invited for “top up protection” ahead of winter from next week.

About Variant BA.2.86

The variant BA.2.86 is being closely monitored due to its proclivity to mutate.

Dr Renu Bindra, an Indian-origin Incident Director for the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), stated that the data regarding the impact of the variant is limited.

Importance of Autumn Vaccine

NHS England is rolling out its adult COVID and annual flu vaccination programmes in tandem to tackle the “twindemic” of flu and COVID.

Immunity wanes over time, and the viruses change each year, so it is important for eligible individuals to top up their protection.

Urging Eligible Individuals to Get Vaccinated

Steve Russell, NHS Director of Vaccinations and Screening, strongly urges everyone eligible to come forward for their vaccination for crucial protection in colder months.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at UKHSA, emphasizes that older people and those in clinical risk groups remain at the highest risk and should get vaccinated.


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